Since I was young, my family and I use to enjoy croquet, as it was considerably easy to play and still held high levels of competitiveness. It still amazes me that a game that was first introduced in 1717 by Pall-Mall in the United Kingdom has stuck around until this day. I still commonly see people play croquet (typically the older generation), as it doesn’t require many complex movements and can be played relatively stress-free on your muscles and joints.
To become better at croquet, it’s not about becoming stronger but actually developing better forward-thinking skills and having a general understanding of the game. Within the game, you’ll need to strategize how you’ll knock your opponents out of the way, as well as scoring the wick yourself. For this to be effective, you’ll almost need to read your rivalries next move, so you’re able to counteract them.
Croquet can seem a lot easier than it generally is, and trust me, any player that has partaken in the game for a while can enormously beat a novice. In this article, we’ll be discussing my top 10 tips on how to always win at croquet and finally get that win against that player that is constantly claiming victory against you.
1.Know Your Mallets
The primary tool used in croquet is your mallet, which is used to strike the ball. Therefore, understanding what the “good” mallets are can most definitely increase your chances of winning. Professionals recommend choosing the heaviest mallet possible. Although this may seem daunting for some, selecting a weighted mallet will actually result in you having to swing less when striking the ball.
By choosing a heavy mallet, you’re able to gain more control of the game’s striking aspect. Whatever you do, if you have a selection of mallets, don’t use the plastic toy ones. They can easily break, and their weight isn’t balanced enough to effectively hit the ball.
2.Understand Your Environment
You may play in a back garden, bowls green, or an area that has long grass. Either way, all three pitches will need to be played on differently.
Back garden – If you’re playing croquet in a back garden, you’ll need to consider the rough terrain you may be playing on. Most gardens will have small bumps on the grass, which causes it to have an uneven surface. Because of this, your ball may travel in the wrong direction, so you’ll need to consider this.
Bowl’s green – Most of the time, clubs or games tend to play on a bowls green. This is because they’re well looked after and have relatively short grass and smooth surfaces. If you’re playing in this type of environment, you shouldn’t hit your ball as hard because the short grass and smooth surface will make it travel further. Similar to if you were to play on a pool table and a snooker table, because the snooker table is made to a much higher quality, you don’t need to hit the ball as hard.
Long grass – If you’re playing in an environment with long grass, you’ll need to do the opposite to what you’d do on a bowl’s green. Because the long grass gives more resistance to the ball, you’ll need to hit it harder.
Understand your positioning, so you’re able to provide accurate and robust swings. Place your legs just beyond shoulder width and make sure you have a solid structure before performing the swing. This will ensure that you’re not going to become unstable mid-swing.
4.Perfecting the Swing
Perfecting your swing takes time and practice, but these tips will help you achieve a better swing faster. People will tell you to hold a mallet in a particular type of way, but honestly, hold it in a way that feels comfortable to you.
Once you’ve found your chosen grip, you’ll then need to perfect the swing. To do this, practice without a ball by swinging the mallet back and forth in between your legs. Once you feel comfortable, try hitting the ball a few times, then increase the difficulty by adding a location in which you need to hit the ball.
5.Shooting With Accuracy
As a beginner, never aim directly at your target. Most of the time, you’ll miss dramatically, and you’re better off by aiming 3-4 inches away from it. As a result of this, it’s common for beginners to get closer to the wick.
6.Intercept Your Opponents
Some people don’t know this, but you’re able to knock other balls out of position with your ball. However, you’ll need to be confident with doing this. If you miss, it can lead to your ball being miles out of position, which will be an absolute disaster.
If you feel like the opportunity is there and you’re comfortable with taking the shot, by all means, do it. It could be the overall decider of the game.
7.Strategize Your Game
The difference between a good and a lousy croquet player is how they strategize their game. A good player would plan and anticipate the opponent’s next moves as well as theirs. This comes with time as you’ll need to understand the whole concept of the game, but try to stand back and understand the scenario’s a croquet game can face.
8.Practice Makes Perfect
Remember, the more you do anything in life, the better you’ll eventually get at it. Like catching a fish, riding a bike, or juggling balls, all of these aren’t possible unless you put the work in and develop the skill.
Be competitive. If you’re truly passionate about becoming a better croquet player, get serious about it. Learn to want to win and see nothing else but that. That’s how professional athletes become worldwide specialists in their chosen sport, as they’re passionate about the game they play and want to succeed, no matter the cost.
The last helpful tip I can give you is to relax. Croquet is a slow-paced game that requires you to think more than physically use your muscles. Plan and play the mental game rather than a game of “who can hit the ball the furthest”.
Hopefully, you’re now able to grasp the idea of how to win at croquet. It can be a frustrating game to begin with, but once you learn the skills and understand how the game is meant to be played, it makes the whole process much more manageable. Remember, think before you swing and almost become a spectator to the game to get a realistic overview of the play.
However, if you want to have a little more of a spontaneous swing while still getting in shape, try this article is swing ball a good exercise.
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